Electric locomotive m.u. on VGN

Discussion related to the Norfolk & Western, up to 1982. Also includes discussion of the Virginian Railway (1959); Wabash; Nickel Plate; Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railway; Akron, Canton & Youngstown Raiload (all 1964); and the Illinois Terminal (1981).

Electric locomotive m.u. on VGN

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 pm

Apparently the Virginian, when it ordered its EL-C (rectifier hood unit) locomotives from General Electric, asked that they be capable of operating in multiple with its somewhat older General Electric EL-2 (streamlined two-unit motor-generator) locomotives.
Did they in practice use locomotives of the two types in m.u. together?

(Question raised by discussion of Pennsy GG-1 m.u. operation on the "General Electric" forum. Note that in the later years of its electric operation, the CMStP&P regularly operated diesels and electrics in m.u.: the railroad designed and built equipment that allowed its electric locomotives to "impersonate" diesels so they could order other diesels around by m.u. And the PRR's E-2b (post-WW II AC-motored cab units from General Electric: the Alco-FA lookalikes) could m.u. with its P5a locomotives.)
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Re: Electric locomotive m.u. on VGN

Postby mp15ac » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:02 am

In the various books that I have on the Virginian Railway I've never seen a photo of the EL-2B and EL-C electrics mu'ed together.

What I have seen which is interesting are photos of some of the EL-C's riding on FM Train Master trucks.

Stuart
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Re: Electric locomotive m.u. on VGN

Postby Allen Hazen » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Stuart--
Thank you for your information!
On the truck-switching between the EL-C and Trainmasters… There was a discussion of this several years ago on (probably) the GE forum of Railroad.net. As I recall, the axle spacings and position of the centre pin relative to the axles of the Trainmaster truck was virtually identical to those of the drop-equalizer truck GE used on the EL-C, the E-44, and U25C and (early) U28C diesels. Relevant dimensions of the three-motor trucks used by Alco were significantly different: hence when N&W wanted to use trade-in trucks from retired Trainmasters on some C630, Alco had to build them with modified underframes.
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Re: Electric locomotive m.u. on VGN

Postby NorthWest » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:11 pm

I think that the acceptance of the FM trucks was a design criteria given to GE by the Virginian as to keep a unit in service when the trucks were in overhaul.
The trucks didn't go with them to the NH, who kept an entire unit for parts, anyway.
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